Stockholm is easily one of the world’s most beautiful capitals. It is where terracotta and saffron-hued buildings shimmer under the blue skies of summer and transform wonderfully in winter’s snow. In the old town, a labyrinth of cobblestone streets lead visitors to vanilla, orange and red stucco buildings, while the majestic Royal Palace is the small city island’s crowning glory. In the Sodermalm neighborhood, the lovely streets are lined with art galleries, eclectic bohemian shops and lively clubs while the main city center can compete with any of the continent’s bigger cities in beauty, sophistication and metropolitan energy. All of this is enveloped by over 24,000 rock islands that are the pride and joy of all Stockholmers.
Start your journey by going back in time to Stockholm’s early history. The Gamla Stan is one of the best preserved and largest medieval city centers on the continent, and the capital was founded there in 1252. The area is like a pedestrian-friendly open-air museum, loaded with attractions, sights, cafes, bars, restaurants and places to shop for souvenirs, curios and handicrafts. Beautiful museums and churches, including the Nobel Museum and National Cathedral, give the area a serene yet impressive vibe, while the Royal Palace shines as one of Stockholm’s greatest attractions. There, visitors can walk the halls of one of the world’s biggest royal residences and explore many of the over 600 rooms. The palace also houses several fascinating museums, such as the Royal Army, which is filled with eye-catching displays of armor and royal costumes. For a truly unforgettable experience, time your visit to coincide with the afternoon changing of the guard.
Fast forward to 1628, when the mighty warship Vasa embarked on her maiden voyage. Only minutes later, the pride of the Swedish crown was sinking to the floor of the Saltsjon. Today, the 69-meter long ship is on display at the Vasamuseet, where it rests well-preserved and still as awe-inspiring as it was hundreds of years ago. Each wooden sculpture that graced the hull was painstakingly restored, and many salvaged objects are on display, including cannonballs, shoes, pillboxes and other artifacts that offer a vivid glimpse at 17th-century sea life. Even the faces of the 100-passenger crew have been forensically recreated, allowing visitors to stare into the faces of the ghosts of Swedish history.
Spend at least an afternoon exploring the National Museum, which houses over 12,000 works. Swedish and Nordic arts are the emphasis, but continental bigwigs like Watteau and Cezanne are also well represented. Don’t leave without browsing the fine works by Rembrandt or the nearly-complete collection of Manet.
There is no better time to visit Stockholm than in the summer, when the water glimmers under sunny skies and locals embrace the few months of warm weather. Enjoy a few afternoon hours at Rosendal’s Garden, a gorgeous lice of greenery right in the middle of the city. Sip on flaka, Sweden’s famous strong black coffee, indulge in pastries and pluck your own colorful flowers from the extensive flower beds.
At night, take a romantic cruise through the waterways to see Stockholm illuminated with golden lights, or treat yourself to a night in Stureplan, the city’s most luxurious and stylish neighborhood. There, you can mingle with the local fashion and art crowds, feast on world-class delights or dance to until the wee hours to some of Europe’s best DJs.
Stockholm Geographical Location
Stockholm is on the eastern shore of Sweden towards the southern end and spans 14 islands.
The largest city in Sweden is Stockholm with a population of 2,100,000.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden with Sami and Finnish spoken within small minorities and many Swedes in Stockholm speak English as a second language.
Stockholm Predominant Religion
- 87% Lutheran
- 13% Other
Swedes who are not Lutheran are grouped together in the “other” category and include Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist.
The Swedish Krona is the official currency of Sweden.
The summers in Stockholm are mild and warm with the winters becoming cold and at times snowy. Precipitation is expected every month with the rainiest being November to January.
Stockholm Main Attractions
- Vasa Museum
- Gamla Stan
- Skansen Open-Air Museum
Other Attraction in Stockholm
- Drottingholm Palace and Court Theater
- City Hall
- Royal Palace